February 3, 2022

©flyingrussian/AdobeStock

©flyingrussian/AdobeStock

No scientific medical basis exists for refusing to allow unvaccinated personnel to travel to offshore platforms in Norway, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway said recently, citing a conclusion from the Rogaland county governor.

“Some offshore employers are considering whether a coronavirus vaccination or Covid-19 certificate should be mandatory. But the government believes no medical basis exists for banning unvaccinated personnel from traveling offshore,” the PSA Norway said.

According to the PSA, supervisory responsibility for health and hygiene in petroleum activities on the NCS rests with the county governor of Rogaland.

“The PSA has accordingly asked this office to assess the content of the control measure concerned – in other words, whether a medical basis exists for requiring vaccination or a Covid-19 certificate. The conclusion from the county governor is that no scientific medical basis exists for refusing to allow unvaccinated personnel to travel offshore,” the PSA said late in January.

Providing the rationale for behind the conclusion that there was no scientific basis to prevent unvacinated workers from traveling offshore in Norway, the Rogaland county governor said:”…The vast majority of people of working age who are diagnosed with Covid-19 will not need health care beyond diagnostic testing, and such testing is offered offshore. Patients who develop a severe course of Covid-19 disease will most typically have mild symptoms initially, before a more severe disease development occurs several days after the onset of symptoms. […] For people working offshore, the serious illness will in most cases only occur in good time after the person has been sent ashore. 

“Thus, the prognosis for covid-19 will not usually be worse for people who are diagnosed with the infection during a stay offshore, compared with those who are diagnosed with the disease on land. “Our assessment is therefore that, based on medical professional considerations, there is no basis for refusing unvaccinated people to travel offshore.”

In Norway, oil company Aker BP had reportedly planned, from February 1, to require that all offshore workers at their installations must be vaccinated against Covid-19. However, after workers’ union SAFE reacted strongly to the proposal, and following the Rogaland county governor assessment, this requirement was removed, according to SAFE.

This post appeared first on Offshore Engineer News.

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